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Great Film Noir Directors of the 1940’s

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

For fans of the Film Noir genre, including myself, there is little doubt that the 1940’s produced a wealth of noir directed by many of the greatest film noir directors in the genres history. It was these early noir efforts that would take the genre well into the 1950’s.

The success of the following directors is not in any way limited to the 1940’s, or to film noir exclusively. Many started earlier, and/or continued with their directorial success for decades to come in numerous film genres.

They are listed alphabetically and I’m sure you will find some of your own favorites included. I will also suggest for viewing some of their most notable film noir for the decade.

Here are my favorites:

Edward Dmytryk – From studio messenger, to top director, to university professor, Dmytryk directed two of the more classic film noir titles of the 40’s. However, there was a black side to the directors career as he was one of the Hollywood Ten, a group of blacklisted film industry professionals during the McCarthy era.

     *  Murder My Sweet – 1944

     *  Crossfire – 1947

Alfred Hitchcock – A London import whose name and films are familiar to everyone. A master of psychological thrillers, many of which are film noir, Hitchcock had a career that spanned over five decades earning him the distinction of being considered one of the most influential filmmakers of all time.

     *  Suspicion – 1941 

     *  Shadow of a Doubt – 1943

     *  Spellbound – 1945

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Fred Niblo: Making His Mark In The Film Industry

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Fred Niblo (1874-1948), whose real life name was Frederick Liedtke, was an American actor and film director who developed remarkable silent films including the epic story Ben-Hur

Fred Niblo was born on January 6, 1874 in York, Nebraska. His mother was French and his father served as a captain during the the American Civil War and was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Fred’s film career started with a passion for film editing that steered him to Broadway where he met and married Josephine Cohan in 1901. Josephine was a talented Broadway actress and is the older sister of legendary American entertainer George M. Cohan who is regarded as the father of American musical comedy.

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John Ford: The Making of a Great American Film Director

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

John Ford is one of America’s foremost Academy Award-winning film directors. His impressive and influential directing style has included adaptations of classic 20th century American novels like The Grapes of Wrath along with some of the most exciting Westerns in motion picture history. Ford’s impressive directorial career includes more films than could possibly be listed here and his use of stunning cinematography is legendary.

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Fritz Lang – Conquering The Movie Industry

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Fritz Lang (1890-1976) represents one of the more controversial Austrian-German-American directors, screenwriters and producers. He was a master at using melodramatic elements of conflict and ambiguity in his works and was considered to have one of the great German expressionist minds of  his time. Two of his most well-known and groundbreaking masterpieces were ‘Metropolis’ and ‘M’.

Considered by some to be simply melodramatic, his work was instrumental in developing the characteristics of the American genre ‘film noir’ with its recurring themes of moral ambiguity, paranoia, and psychological conflict.

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